Homebrew Con Seminars

Homebrew Con is an annual event hosted by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA). The conference includes dozens of seminars on beer, mead, and cider. Join the AHA to gain access to Homebrew Con seminars dating back to 2012. You won’t find a resource like this anywhere else!

Beer Clarity, In Depth

  • Speaker: Brad Smith
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

This seminar will provide an in-depth look at beer clarity, including measuring clarity, potential causes of clarity issues and ingredients and processes to minimize haze in your beer. It also will address the most common causes of haze including tannins and polyphenols, ingredient selection, chill haze and more. Brad will …More

Berliner and Beyond: Sour Mashing and Its Applications

  • Speaker: Derek Springer
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Interest in sour beers has never been higher, but to many the idea of making their own sour beer seems like an impossible dream. But what if there were a fast, easy method to get active making sours? Sour mashing is an intermediate-level technique for any beer that would benefit …More

Best Practices in Homebrew Retail

  • Speakers: Chris Opela David StuartJuno ChoiLarry Clouser
  • Track: Homebrew Industry
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Our speakers—representatives from major homebrew wholesale companies—will highlight what it takes to make a great shop.

Blurring the Style Guidelines: Brewing Great, Mixed-Style Beers

  • Speaker: Peter Zien
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Style guidelines provide excellent definitions of world-aclaimed beer types. However, they are only guidelines and the creative brewer can break free to create unique beers that don’t necessarily fall into a single style category.

Brewing Session Beer

  • Speaker: Andrew Mitchell
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Session beers have been gaining popularity over the last several years, especially now that many breweries are making session IPAs. Andrew will discuss traditional session ale styles, newer and less common styles, and recipe and process considerations to take into account when writing recipes and brewing beers with lower alcohol …More

Brewing with Coffee: Approaches & Techniques from Dry-Beaning to Home Roasting

  • Speakers: Amy KroneJacob McKeanMichael Tonsmeire
  • Track: Ingredients
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Do you dream of making a coffee beer that really stands out from the pack? Jacob McKean, Amy Krone and Michael Tonsmeire will provide an overview of their years of experiments with coffee beers at both the homebrewing and professional levels. They’ll delve into how coffee origins and roast profiles …More

Brewing With Experimental Hops: A New Hop Variety Just For Homebrewers

  • Speakers: Jason PerraultKarl VanevenhovenVinnie Cilurzo
  • Track: Ingredients
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Until now, all experimental hop varieties have been tested and run through the craft beer industry first. For the first time a new hop has been bred and developed for homebrewers. Jason Perrault of the Hop Breeding Company and Perrault Farms, Karl Vanevenhoven of Yakima Chief-Hopunion, and Vinnie Cilurzo of …More

Bridging the Gender Gap: Women

  • Speakers: Debbie CerdaFlorencia "Popy" FouchKim Wood
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Women may be the minority in homebrewing, but the number of females enjoying craft beer is growing. Find out what efforts are being made by homebrew clubs to increase their female membership. Learn how the AHA diversity subcommittee is working to bridge the gender gap and encourage more women to …More

Bringing the Brewery Home

  • Speaker: Warren Haskell
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Scaling and cloning recipes is challenging, whether trying to clone your favorite craft brew or taking your favorite homebrew from five gallons to 50 barrels. Warren and Jason will discuss recipe scaling and method and equipment use in the process. Raw ingredients, brewing method, fermentation control and packaging will be …More

Confessions of a Celebrity Hop Variety: How Did I End Up Beer?

  • Speaker: Pat Purcell
  • Track: Ingredients
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

The odds of creating a wildly successful new hop variety are one in several million (so we’re saying there’s a chance…), but every once in a while, we hit a home run. This is the story of a hop variety that was developed over a 10-year period to capture a …More

Crafting Cellarworthy Beers

  • Speaker: Patrick Dawson
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

An in-depth look at how to design and brew beers that have the makeup to improve and mature over years in the cellar. Optimal beer styles for cellaring will be reviewed, along with expectations and recommended time frames.

Czech Lagers: History, Brewing, Judging

  • Speakers: Bob HallRandy Scorby
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

In this seminar, Bob Hall and Randy Scorby will describe the four “new” Czech styles in the BJCP style guidelines. Czech lagers are more diverse than simply pilsners and range from delicate light lagers to malty and intense dark lagers. Bob and Randy will describe the history of these beers, …More

Does Your Fermenter Affect Your Beer?

  • Speakers: Bob SandagePhil Farrell
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

A commercial recipe was brewed and then split between an array of fermeters to see if the choice of fermeter had any effect on the finished beer. Plastic buckets, glass carboys, corny kegs and small SS conicals are compared to the 15 barrel SS commercial unitank the beer is normally …More

Fermenting Mead with Ale Yeasts

  • Speakers: Frank GolbeckMaurey Fletcher
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Most mead makers use wine yeasts when fermenting mead. Frank Golbeck and Maurey Fletcher from Golden Coast Mead will detail their experience fermenting mead with ale yeast. Golden Coast Mead uses ale yeast in their four major market mead varieties sold in more than 200 retail locations. They find many …More

From 5 to 5,000 Gallons: What to Look for in a Brewery Space

  • Speaker: Scott Katzer
  • Track: Going Pro
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Brewers spend significant resources developing their passion for their craft but often overlook the building and engineering infrastructure that supports them. One may have the best designed brewery system, but poor space planning and a building lacking the necessary utilities can lead to significant downtime, loss of productivity and unhappy …More

Hands-On Activities to Help You Master Beer Styles

  • Speaker: Ray Daniels
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Just reading about beer styles won’t help you remember them next time you sit down to judge. Really mastering BCJP styles requires hands-on activities to cement your knowledge. Ray Daniels started learning about beer styles more than 25 years ago and today spends a good deal of his time teaching …More

Homebrew Club Insurance Program

  • Speaker: Luke Dobrich
  • Track: Clubs & Competitions
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

This seminar provides an overview of the AHA-endorsed homebrew club insurance program. Homebrew club and individual club member’s liability exposures and risks will be discussed. Participants will also learn about appropirate risk transfer procedures to mitigate insurance exposures for their clubs and members.

Homebrew Toxicology: Debunking the Hidden Dangers of Chemicals in Your Brew System

  • Speaker: Paul Hanlon
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Discussion boards have many active threads warning homebrewers of the hidden dangers of chemicals introduced into their homebrew through plastics, metals and other means. Unfortunately, much of this information is based more on Internet lore more than scientific evidence, and in many cases leads well-meaning homebrewers to invest in costly …More

Hops: Grow and Enjoy Your Own

  • Speaker: Sean Gardinier
  • Track: Ingredients
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Grow, harvest, brew, drink, repeat! Backyard hops are increasingly common and homebrewers should join in. Practical guidelines will give seminar attendess the opportunity to grow and enjoy their own fresh hops.

Hosting Cask Ale Events

  • Speaker: Randy Baril
  • Track: Technical
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Homebrewers are already experts in making real ale. Take the next step and cask condition the beer! This serving method from the English tradition is a unique way to present your beer, especially when you’re planning on serving an entire keg anyway. Taking care of cask conditioned beer is a …More

How to Brew, Blend and Maintain an Acid Beer

  • Speaker: Jeff Crane
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Acid beer is an important component for blending sour beers as well as adding complexity to other beer styles. To brew acid beer on the homebrew scale, it’s important to have a practical knowledge base of lactobacillius fermentation and best practices for controlling the environment for optimal results. Samples of …More

In Pursuit of Perfection: Hefeweizen Project

  • Speaker: Paula Cartwright
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

This seminar will cover the process of how to eliminate an off flavor in hefeweizens. Processes covered include yeast trial (side by side comparison of four hefe yeast strains on a single batch of beer); grain trial (side by side mashing of six different base malts); and pitch rate and …More

Intro to Professional Brewing Quality Assurance

  • Speaker: Rick Blankemeier
  • Track: Going Pro
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Setting up a quality program is often overlooked when homebrewers go pro. This seminar is designed to educate homebrewers on how to set up a basic quality program and lab from day one.

Introduction to Experimentation

  • Speakers: Denny ConnDrew Beechum
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Drew Beechum and Denny Conn will discuss how experimentation leads the way to better beer. They’ll cover topics and techniques from recipe design to packaging that will make brew day more rewarding and fun. Objective evaluation of experimental results will be discussed and demonstrated. Samples of beers brewed from the …More

Keynote

  • Speaker: Tomme Arthur
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

2015 National Homebrewers Conference Keynote

Kilned Versus Roasted: Do You Really Know Your Specialty Malt?

  • Speaker: David Richter
  • Track: Ingredients
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

There are only two commercial maltsters in the U.S. operating roasters to produce specialty malt, so there is not a lot of information available on roasted specialty malts. David will provide a basic understanding of the malting process before delving into the differences between producing malt on a kiln and …More

Making Enzymes Work For You

  • Speaker: Randy Scorby
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

This seminar is directed at all-grain brewers with intermediate experience. The focus will be on understanding and controlling enzymes in the mash and making them work for you. Although various mash techniques will be briefly discussed in relation to enzymes, this will not be a class on how to mash. …More

Malt

  • Speaker: John Mallett
  • Track: Ingredients
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Enter the world of malt, the soul of beer. Beer is often cited as being at least one of the causes for civilization, and it was the deliberate cultivation and malting of beer that was the catalyst. From cultivation to harvest, from steeping to kilning to brewing, John Mallett (Bell’s …More